Masks will be Optional in PCSD schools starting Wednesday, March 2 (February 27, 2022)
Governor Hochul is lifting our mask mandate in schools effective this Wednesday, March 2. She used the following information to determine this:
- 98% drop in positive cases since peak in January 2022
- 51 consecutive days of a downward trend of COVID-19 cases
- 7-day average currently at 1.7% percent compared to 23% at January peak
- Declining hospitalization rates for 48 consecutive days
- High vaccination rates among adults and children
This mask-optional protocol is supported by CDC and local medical community.
Supporting students through the shift to a mask-optional school environment is a priority. To that end, it is important that parents/guardians make decisions involving their child(ren). We encourage parents/guardians to share with their children what their expectations are around mask-wearing and why, as well as why others may choose differently.
Different perspectives may be grounded in health concerns or different beliefs. For some, eliminating masks from their daily lives will be an easy transition. For others, it may be a habit they shed in some situations and continue to employ in other environments, and there are still others who won’t feel comfortable eliminating masks from their daily lives at all. Common ground will be established at school and students should feel safe and respected no matter their family’s choice.
As always, please encourage your child to talk to a trusted adult at school if they experience discomfort in any setting so that support can be provided and a sense of well-being can be restored. Any type of mask/vaccine shaming online or in person will not be tolerated.
If your child(ren) would like to wear a mask, the District has secured a large quantity of KN95 masks through Monroe County Public Health Department. These masks are available free of charge to students and staff. They will be distributed to schools tomorrow and available to students and staff asap. You will receive details about this distribution from your school principal.
We are expecting additional, specific guidance over the next two days as it relates to the removal of the mask mandate (bussing, contact tracing, quarantine, etc.). This will be shared once we have received it.